Peter Bol chases gold in 800m Championships final

A relieved Peter Bol is through to the 800m final at the World Athletics Championships, but only by the barest of margins.

Bol has made history by becoming the first Australian to secure a spot in the final of the 800m at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon. Even though he finished third in the semi-final and missed out on direct qualification through to the final, his race was still fast enough to qualify for the final.

Bol is an Australian middle-distance runner. Many Australians will remember his amazing race in the 800m final at the Tokyo Olympics last year where he narrowly missed out on a medal, finishing fourth.

He competed in the men’s 800 metres at the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics and holds the national record.

He is currently the world No. 3 ranked 800m runner. He was running in a hot field for the semi-finals which included two of the fastest in the world, Kenyan duo World number one Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir and number nine Wycliffe Kinyamal Kisasy.

“That was close,” a relieved Bol said after getting through to the final.

Bol pushed to the front early behind Kisasy but was overtaken by Olympic champion Korir down the final straight.

While Bol won his heat convincingly and cruised into the men’s 800m semifinals with minimal fuss, the semi-final race was not so easy for the Australian. He finished third in his semi and only the top two qualify automatically. He had to wait for the results of the other two semi-finals before finding out his fate.

Fortunately, his time of 1:45.58 was fast enough to qualify for the final.

Bol realises he has earned the respect of his rivals.

“When I saw I was world number three coming into the championships, it was like, ‘Wow’,” Bol said.

“There’s a lot more respect out there, for sure.”

He is still regarded as a medal chance but will have to wait until early Sunday morning our time for his chance to win gold. And he will have an army of green and gold cheering him on.

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